Richmond Orchestra & Chorus
The Richmond Orchestra & Chorus Association, a group of dedicated amateur musicians under professional leadership believes that:
- a rich cultural scene is essential to building a strong, healthy and vibrant community.
- music enhances the lives of both performers and audience members.
The Richmond Orchestra & Chorus Association is a group of dedicated amateur musicians under professional leadership that is committed to musical excellence and building connections through audience engagement, nurturing musical talent and providing community service.
In 1986, George Austin and a small group of Richmond musicians had the desire to make music for their community and thus the Richmond Orchestra & Chorus was formed. Since then the organization has grown to almost a 100 members, all committed to providing an opportunity for musicians to share the joy of music in practice and performance. The talented instrumentalists and singers present a variety of music throughout the season, from the beauty of the classics, through seasonal traditions and the uplifting passion of sacred and spiritual, to the delights of folk, jazz, modern and show tunes. Recent major works include Brahms’ German Requiem, Handel’s Messiah and Mozart’s Requiem. Members range in age from high school students to seniors; they come from all walks of life, and welcome the opportunity to share their love of music with a wider audience.
The orchestra has had a number of conductors, including Peter Rohloff, Charles Willett, Wallace Leung, Lorraine Grescoe and Chris Robertson. James Malmberg, current conductor, was appointed in 2007. The Chorus has had only two conductors since its inaugural year: Len Lythgoe (1987 to 1994) and Brigid Coult (1994 to the present).
Here are just a few of our notable highlights from the past 30 seasons:
- Performing with guest conductor Pablo Sosa from Argentina
- Canadian premiere of “The Dragons are Singing Tonight” by composer David Hamilton (1998)
- Commissioned and premiered Brian Tates’ “This Island” (2000)
- Singing with Imant Raminsh at Carnegie Hall in New York (2006)
- Performing with Xiamen Philharmonic Orchestra at the River Rock Theatre (2010)
- Performed the official Olympic Torch Anthem for the Torch Ceremony at the “O Zone”. (2010)
- Performing with Chantal Kreviazuk (2013)